Monday, November 05, 2012

Seeking the ideal Chrome text editor

Any time I switch operating systems, I run into the same problems with some of the work I do.  I usually start by winging it and doing a bunch of extra manual scutwork to get the same results and output I was getting easily in the previous OS (after having gone through the same cycle then). That's what I've been doing for the last week since the Chromebox arrived.

After awhile -- I am at this stage now -- I get serious about making the changes that produce the output/results I want without the extra work.

This time around, those changes are of two varieties, one of which I just took care of a few minutes ago (adapting a Wordpress template to accommodate some output differences between Chrome and Firefox so that I get the number of line breaks I want, in the places where I want them, when I cut and paste), the other of which I am still working on.

Here's what I'm trying to do:

1) Copy a bunch of text from a web page.

2) Paste it into a text editor and have the fancy crap automatically disappear. I want straight ASCII apostrophes and quote marks. I want two hyphens, not long non-ASCII dashes. That kind of thing.

In other words, I want the Chrome app equivalent of Notepad or TextWrangler.

Bonus points for automatic syncing to a service that doesn't mess up (2) above -- or screw with my file extensions, as I eventually FTP some of these files onto a server -- on saving.

Google Docs doesn't seem to fit that bill. If I don't convert a file to Google Docs format, I can't edit it directly in Docs. If I do convert the file to Google Docs format, then I've got a .gdoc file, not the .txt file or .php file that I need to upload to the server.

I've tried several editors that sync to Dropbox (which is my personal favorite anyway). The best I've found so far is WriteBox, but it doesn't seem to handle the ASCII-fying part.

If necessary, I'm willing to give up the nice sync functionality and just save docs to my small solid state drive.

EXTRA bonus points for a Chrome FTP app that doesn't suck. The only one I've found so far that works at all is something called FTP Editor, and it's kind of creaky (among other annoyances, it supposedly saves my login info, including unrememberable password, but when I come back that data is never saved).

Any suggestions? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

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